I Have 31 Reasons to Be Grateful 🎂

It's my birthday and I have some thoughts

Today is my 31st birthday. I’m not really sure how that happened since in my mind it’s still March 2020.

But apparently time has not stood still since the start of the pandemic and I’m now one year into my third decade on Earth.

I wrote a couple of years ago about why I feel strongly about celebrating birthdays. And I still feel that way. Getting another trip around the sun is a privilege that not everyone gets.

I’m grateful that I get to turn 31 today, especially because around my 30th birthday last year I was feeling pretty lost and hopeless.

Turning 30 was hard for me. Harder than I expected.

A milestone birthday like 30 has a lot of societal hype and pressure built around it, especially for women.

The things you’re expected to have at 30 (marriage, baby, house, career) are things that I don’t aspire to (except for the career).

So turning 30 left me at a loss. And it left me being reflective. What did I have to show for my 30 years? If I didn’t have the marriage, baby and house that society says I was supposed to have at that age, where did that leave me?

Last year, I wasn’t in the right place to write that post. So I want to do it now.

I want to celebrate what I have in my life, even if it’s not what I’m ‘expected’ to have. Because it’s too easy to fall in the trap of comparing my life to others. And it happens more often than I’d like.

On the list of things that are expected of me that I actually do have, I have a job I love.

I’m making the most money I’ve ever made, while making a tangible difference in people’s lives and I couldn’t be more grateful that I get to do what I do.

After the worst health year of his life, my brother is on the up and up. My mom is living in the same town as him for the first time in 10 years and it makes me so happy to know they are close to each other.

I have a partner and a cat that fill my life with laughter, happiness and shedding (seriously, an orange cat plus a Hungarian means I’m always vacuuming).

We rent a small, but efficient apartment that we actually enjoy hanging out in (as opposed to the daily stress we felt as first time homeowners).

Last but not least, I am the proud beginner plant mom to three tiny apartment-friendly plants. And I’ve managed to keep my cat from eating them so far (a serious win).

I don’t want any of this to come off as a brag. Writing this has helped remind me of all the good I do have in my life, even if it’s not what society would suggest I should have at the age I am. Or what I should aspire to. At the peak of my depression last year, I couldn’t see any of the good I did have in my life.

Especially after the last year and a half, I know I have so much in my life to be thankful for. I just need to work on remembering that.

I wish I didn’t feel the ‘lesserness’ that I sometimes feel when I think about where I am in life compared to my friends. It’s something that I’m working on.

But today, I’m 31. And that’s good. And it’s enough.

No matter where you are at in your life, I want you to know that you’re doing enough.

If you’re like me and you tend to focus on the negative in your life rather than the positive, I get it. But you probably have more in your life than you realize, even if it’s hard for you to see right now.

Until next time, keep living that tiny life (or whatever life feels right to you in this moment).


P.S. I started holding a yearly fundraiser on my birthday to support the Kidney Foundation of Canada (my brother was diagnosed with a kidney-related disease last year). If you have a few dollars to spare and want to support a great organization, you can donate here.